In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light, Genesis 1:1-3 NKJV.
Though they are directly and categorically opposed to the thought of this age, and they are categorically opposed and denied by the thought of this age, these verses in the first chapters of Genesis are some of the most profound verses in Scripture. In broad brush strokes, they give us the picture of the creation of this world and the universe it sits in and lay the groundwork for understanding the moral and spiritual chaos that surrounds us in this year of our Lord 2019.
There is a lot of discussion about these verses, even among Christians.
What does it mean, for example, that “the earth was without form and void”?
Some have tried to answer this and to make room for the millions of years required by the theory of evolution, by translating this clause, “the earth became dark and void,” or empty. These folks, known as “old earth creationists,” hold to the view the earth is indeed millions of years old. They advance the idea that the earth underwent some catastrophe by which it became “dark and void.” Doing so, they think they are believing the Bible while giving science the place it deserves.
Though they likely disagree with me on this, they are wrong.
On both counts.
The earth isn’t millions of years old, and there was no “catastrophe”.
Genesis 1:2 simply describes this planet as it came from the mind and word of God before anything had been done to it. It was “dark” because there was as yet no light. It was “void” or empty because God had not yet done anything to it. It was, as it were, a lump of clay in the Potter’s hand, waiting to be molded by His skill and purpose, except for the fact that when He made the heavens and the earth, there was nothing “in His hand,” no pre-existent material for Him to work with. He made everything ex nihilo, that is, out of nothing.
As for the “age” of the earth, the Lord Jesus placed the creation of Adam and Eve at the beginning of creation, not as a result of countless ages of “upward” development from an amoeba, Matthew 19:4, but by a direct act of God. God Himself said that it took Him six days to do all that He wanted to do, Exodus 20:11.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
It’s a foolish thing to try to understand God by looking at how humans do things, though we do that way too often. I guess it could be said that I’m doing that in this post. None of us can create by simply saying something. And, no, this isn’t the same thing as asking Alexa to turn on the lights for you. I’ve never sculpted or worked with clay. I have done calligraphy and, in this case, do know something about laying out work that needs to be done.
So, when the Spirit of God was looking things over, if I can put it like that, was He laying out the basic design for this world? The Americas here, Europe here, Africa there. This flower and that bee. These animals and that locale. We do know from Scripture that the history of this ball of dirt has been laid out already, so why not its geography?
There are no “accidents” in this world. Every rock, every clod of dirt, every tree, is right where it’s supposed to be. As I’ve written before, there are no erasers on God’s pencils.
With this viewpoint, the question often arises, did God “put in” evil? Lord willing, we’ll deal with this difficulty, Lord willing, when we get to Adam and Eve, but for now, did He “put in” evil in the same sense that He put in the rock and the tree? No. On the other hand, as some teach, did evil catch Him by surprise? Also, no. Did it “mess up” His planning, so that He had to go to “Plan B”? Absolutely NOT!!
But there is another, much worse, kind of darkness –
There is the darkness of moral evil, of sin.
This other kind of “darkness” has nothing to do with the presence or absence of physical light. Proverbs 2:13, 14 refers to those who leave the paths of uprightness, To walk in the ways of darkness; who rejoice in doing evil…, emphasis added.
It is a darkness in which all of us have walked, and perhaps are still walking: for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23. For there is not a just man on earth who does good And does not sin, Ecclesiastes 7:20.
This is God’s description of us.
This does not mean that we’re all as bad as we could be. All of us can think of some who are worse (in our estimation) than we are. It means that we’re not as good as we should be. And we’re certainly not holy, harmless and undefiled as Hebrews describes the Lord Jesus.
There’s another agent at work in all this, as well.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul wrote, But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do no believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them, vs. 3, 4.
“The god of this age.”
A lot of people deny any such being as Satan, but Scripture speaks of him from the Garden of Eden clear to that future time when he will finally be cast into the Lake of Fire, never again to interfere in the world of men, Genesis 3; Revelation 20:10.
But he’s the one behind the plethora of cults, false religions, false beliefs and the moral chaos in our culture. He wants no one even to look at that book which foretells his ultimate doom and wants to take as many as possible with him to that place of torment. So he does all he can to counteract the clear witness of the Word of God.
What better way than to present a counterfeit worldview in which the idea of “God” has no place at all? Evolution has no place for God. From the beginning, with its incomprehensible belief in a hot blob of something which blew up, to the idea that we’ve all just evolved, hit-or-miss, with no purpose or reason, evolution has presented us with that counterfeit.
But that counterfeit won’t do us any good when we stand before God, as we all will, every one of us. No exceptions. There’s only one currency, if you will, that can pay for sin and grant entrance into eternal bliss. That payment is the one made by the Lord Jesus on the Cross. That death is the reason He was born. The only reason.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.”